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Mars One announces study contracts for robotic precursor mission
Posted: Wed, Dec 11, 2013, 6:40 AM ET (1140 GMT)
Mars One robotic lander concept from Lockheed Martin (LM) A Dutch venture that seeks to send humans to Mars next decade on one-way missions announced contracts Tuesday with two major aerospace companies to study mission concepts for a robotic orbiter and lander. Lockheed Martin will examine designs for a robotic lander based on the same platform the company used for the Phoenix lander and upcoming InSight lander spacecraft for NASA. That spacecraft would be a technology demonstration mission and include student-designed experiments. Surrey Satellite Technology Limited will study concepts for a spacecraft placed in synchronous orbit around Mars to relay communications from the lander. Both spacecraft would be launched in 2018. Mars One declined to estimate the cost of the mission or how much it's raised, beyond that it is looking into various partnership and sponsorship opportunities. Mars One received thousands of applications from people interested in going to Mars on its first crewed mission in the 2020s, and plans to announce who made it through the first round of the selection process by the end of the year.
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